When you live in the country, you see and hear owls - barn owls, white owls, and tawny owls, to name but a few. Sadly, the owls’ numbers have been diminishing as their habitat has been lost to development. We need to take care of the owls that remain. This appliquéd owl perched on a branch, watching over her family, safe in the hole of a tree. What country house would not be complete without an owl in residence?
Use template-free piecing techniques to stitch the Sawtooth block, and sew the remaining blocks and borders to the quilt. Your country house will be almost complete!
Alex shows you how to make french fold binding.
Simple borders balance a busy quilt. With quick piecing techniques, you’ll fly through the Flying Geese.
Did you play “conkers” as a child? You’d drill a hole through the center of dried conker - a chestnut. Thread a piece of string through the hole, and your conker is battle ready! Two players then take turns striking the other’s conker, until one of the conkers breaks. The best conkers were the ones we kept from one year to the next. They were very hard and strong. Our driveway was lined with chestnut trees, and my brother and I played many a game.
Squirrels nested in our chestnut trees. They would leap with amazing agility from tree to tree, and they loved to eat the conkers. The grey squirrel in my block is tackling a nut on the ground. Perhaps she is going to store it somewhere safe ready for the coming winter.
The pieced blocks I have chosen for this month are called Weathervane. According to folklore, if you see squirrels being more active than usual in the fall, a hard winter is coming.
This month we’ll also start assembling the quilt.
The tip for this month is learning how to "square-up" your blocks with Janae King.
My dad had always wanted to keep bees. He read all the books he could find on the subject and joined our local beekeepers association. Our bees arrived and settled in. Many months later they swarmed, and we found them clinging to a branch of an apple tree in the orchard. Dad had prepared for this day and had a new beehive ready. All we needed to do was capture the swarming bees and relocate them to their new home! Imagine, if you can, me standing under an apple tree, holding a big bucket over my head. Dad was in the tree above me, sawing the branch that held the swarm. You guessed it - I ended up covered in bees, but it was Dad they chased around the garden! The bees in this block are very content and aren’t going anywhere. There are lovely flowers everywhere in this garden to keep them happy.
The pieced blocks this month are Garden Path. I chose them to remind me of Dad running down many garden paths to shake the bees off his trail. For easy piecing, we’ll break the block down into half-square triangle units.
Alex and Ricky will give you some great tips for pressing when working on your half-square triangle units.
One of the local farmers still used horses to work his sheep farm. He had a pony called Misty, who taught all his children, as well as all the village children, how to ride. I'll never forget the day it was my turn! I still have one of Misty's metal horseshoes, and it holds a place in my heart. Misty would definitely have a home in a lush paddoch here at my dream home in the country.
Guest instructor Julie Cefalu will give you tips for machine applique and instruction on making a Churn Dash block.
I can’t remember a time when I did not share my life with a cat or two. Although cats are very independent, they bring a gentle joy to my life. This very contented cat is named Goody Two Shoes. It looks like he got into the cream, but as you can see butter would not melt in his mouth. In fact, he is patiently waiting for Mr. Bird to fly off and find Mrs. Bird, so he can try to catch the little mouse he thinks he saw running past just now. I pieced a small friendship star into the cat block to remind me of the cats who have been part of my life.
This month Alex Anderson will show you how to make a Sawtooth Star. There’s no better pieced block to represent the aloofness of a cat! Learn a template-free method for making quarter-square triangle units.
As you can plainly see, these two bunnies are in love. I think everyone loves a rabbit - except maybe some farmers! When I was a child, the large, sweet-natured dog we named Butch liked nothing better than to please everyone. One day he decided that bringing home a whole litter of baby rabbits would be a fun way to amuse his people! I’ll never forget the look on my mother’s face when she realized that there were a dozen or more tiny weeny rabbits in the middle of the sitting room. Butch had carefully carried each and every baby bunny home in his mouth! We laughed so much as we raced around the house trying to catch the bunnies and return them to the field behind the house where they had come from.
Our pieced blocks this month are called Night Vision, which I chose in memory of Butch. Although dogs don’t have such good night vision as cats, they can see a lot better that we humans can in the dark. Maybe that’s how Butch got to catch all those baby bunnies!
Quick the naughty fox is running away with the hen, looks like they are having fun perhaps they are in a race! I have fond memories of foxes, when I was young the fox hunt used to come through the fields near my home and my mum used to stand in our large garden and tell the hunters to go away, in my mind the naughty fox was hiding in the bushes in our garden where he knew he would be safe!
I have teamed the naughty fox up with two simple to pieced ‘Golden Gate’ blocks. Which represent my mum the gatekeeper to our garden.
Spring is in the air! My heart sings, because I know my best friend is waiting for our arrival at the front gate. Butch, the black dog, with his wonky ears and a little heart tag, is so pleased to see us. Mr. Bird is sitting on Butch’s back, hoping that Mrs. Bird will notice him.
The pieced gate goes together quickly. I could not resist the chance to make some more hexagon flowers!
Lynette shows you how she makes the crazy patchwork heart for top border of the quilt.
This month Lynette shows you two ways to create flower and leaf appliques.
Lynette shows you the finer points of creating applique stems.